Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Year Eleven

Since Walnut was born I have dreaded the end of August.  I thoroughly enjoy spending the summers with my children.  We do a myriad of super fun activities, spend time with the BFFs, visit family, travel, go to the pool, have pj days and have fun, lazy days, too.  The Summer of 2010 flew right by us and here we are as September looms.

As I head in to my eleventh year as a high school English teacher, I am proud to say that I am excited to be back in the classroom.  The custodial staff moved my desk which has provided me with new perspective, Bob is going to paint a few of my walls robin egg blue, new photos of family fun summer excursions adorn my walls and, of course, familiar and new faces are anxious to learn and to be entertained a little, too. 

I can't wait to "teach" Their Eyes Were Watching God, To Kill A Mockingbird, Sula, A Gesture LifeThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The CrucibleSiddhartha, Julius Caesar and a few other favorites.  Good literature excites me and I am hoping to infuse that enthusiasm into my instruction.

Here's to a great 2010-2011 school year! 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Adventures in K: Panic Mode

As I was driving school today my mind was filled with many different tasks that needed to be accomplished for tomorrow.  Walnut will be beginning his educational journey tomorrow and there are papers to fill out, a coloring homework assignment and other logistical situations that need to be solidified.  However, a thought of complete terror crept into my mind as I was listening to a little Bon Jovi, 'I am going to put Walnut on the bus and he won't know a SINGLE SOUL.'

silence.  the beginning of tears.  sick feeling in my stomach.  sweats.  COMPLETE PANIC

My Walnut is going to get on a bus, not driven by Bob or me, where he will know no one.  I must be the worst mother in the world, right?

This Kindergarten thing is stressing me out.  Walnut is so excited. 

Stay tuned...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Adventures in K: Poetry of Trust and a Few Tears

Mrs. W., Walnut's teacher, gave the parents of new Kindergarten students this poem on orientation day.  I cried a little...or maybe a lot.

THE FIRST DAY

I gave you a wink and smile
As you entered the room today.
For I know how hard it is to leave
and know your child must stay.
You've been with him for five
years now
And have been a loving guide,
But now, alas, the time has come
to leave him at my side.
Just know that as you drive away
And tears down your cheeks may
flow
I'll love him as I would my own
And help him learn and grow.
So please put your mind at ease
And cry those tears no more
For I will love him and take him in
When you leave him at my door.

Tears?  I thought so.

Adventures in K: A Chance to Decorate

Just as we decorate for parties or holidays I think that it is necessary to set the tone around the house for Walnut's first day of Kindergarten.  We are in single digits now on our countdown.  I made the the school door hanging with some materials from Pat Catan's and simple school supplies.  And, I love the garden flag (one of my addictions). 
We are very excited that Walnut is excited to be going to Kindergarten!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Adventures in K: Mom Takes On the Director of Transportation

On the day that the transportation letter indicating Walnut's bus number, bus stop, and pick up time arrived I called the number provided so that I could change his bus stop.  I also emailed the Director of Transportation three times to no avail.  Bob sporadically travels for business and I didn't want to be in panic mode during the school year.  We, like all sane parents,  prefer that Walnut be at the same bus stop every day so to guarantee his safety. 

A few weeks passed and I still had not heard from our school district.  I called, left a message and waited.  I did receive a phone call from a brand new employee telling me that they "could" not change Walnut's bus stop to our daycare.

Here is the first transcription of the first conversation:

"Mrs. K, this is Callie from the ___ Transportation Department returning your phone call."

"Thank you very much for returning my phone call.  My son will be attending ____ next week.  I am requesting that his bus stop be changed from our home address to our daycare provider's address.  The day care is less than two minutes away."

muffle.  Charlie Brown voices in the background.  muffle.

"Mrs. K, we cannot move your son's bus stop.  It is not on the route."

"Where is the route?"

muffle.  Charlie Brown voices in the background.  muffle.

"I am brand new and wanted to make sure I was giving you the correct information."

"Thank you."

"Your son would have to go to another bus stop to pick up his bus."

"He's five.  I work and my husband travels."

"Can I call you back?"

"Yes.  Will you provide me with an answer?"

"Yes."

"I look forward to hearing from you.  Thanks."

For the most part, I felt that I was calm and collected even though I wanted to reach through the phone and grab someone by the neck.  Did they not understand that I am not taking him to another bus stop just for the fun of it?  I was livid.

And, so, we played the waiting game.

Tiffany vs. Transportation Department:  Round 2

"Good Morning.  I called yesterday to discuss changing my son's bus stop to (address)."

"I believe you spoke to me."

"Yes, Callie, I believe that I did speak to you.  Do you have an answer?"

"Um."

"I would like to rectify this situation right now while I have you on the phone.  What is the answer?"

"Let me connect you with the director."

"Great."

At this point, I was irritated.  Why would they sacrifice the newbie?  Yes, I already knew the answer to that rhetorical question.

"This is John, Director of Transportation."

Insert another explanation of our situation.

muffle.  Charlie Brown voices in the background.  muffle.

"I am not sure if we can accommodate your request.  The state mandates us BLAH, BLAH, BLAH."

I am FURIOUS.

"Excuse me, Mr. ___ but I would like to give you a little background information.  I am a teacher.  I know American Public School Law.  And, your Superintendent was one of my graduate school professors.  I am requesting that you take the thousands of dollars of my tax money to bus my child ONE way each day.  I ask for no other services from ___ School District.  Please don't make this an ugly situation."

silence

"Give me one minute...Mrs. K, your son will be picked up at your the daycare provider each morning at (time and bus #)."

I repeated all pertinent information.

"Yes."

"Thanks."

click.

Bottom line:  It was never that they "couldn't" change Walnut's bus stop.  They wouldn't change Walnut's bus stop.

Am I satisfied?  damn straight

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

HMP: He Sleeps

Peanut may have been the worst sleeper in the history of man.  He didn't actually SLEEP through the night until he was almost twenty-two months old--that's almost TWO years.  And, when I say didn't sleep I mean that he was up several times a night to play.   It was so bad that we put him in his big boy bed so that we didn't have to stay in his room on the floor, praying that he would eventually fall asleep.  We slept next to him in bed.  Don't judge until you've been there!  By the way, before you ask- I have read every sleep book known to man.  The advice of did not work.

Interestingly enough, Bob and I expected a complete struggle to finally get Peanut to fall asleep by himself.  Here's the scenario:  Bob was out of town on business.  Walnut had a slight case of the stomach bug.  I told Peanut that I would come in after Walnut was feeling a little better.  It was completely chaotic.  Walnut was back and forth to their bathroom at least a dozen times in a fifteen minute period.  I was on edge in anticipation.  'Walnut didn't get sick.  Matthew is still in bed.'

Then, it just HAPPENED...he stayed in bed, by himself, and fell asleep.  The proverbial encouragement of "be a big boy" worked!  It is continuing to work...let sleeping toddlers lie!


Keep your fingers crossed for me.  I need the sleep.

Adventures in K: Complete Role Reversal

@ breakast and very serious

Walnut outside of his school
getting my hugs and kisses in before orientation


Well, today was the second most important day of the beginning to our 2010-2011 school year--KINDERGARTEN ORIENTATION.  To be completely honest, I figured that there may be a few tears from my first born.  Boy, was I wrong!  I thought I was pretty composed UNTIL we walked into the Kindergarten room.  I broke down and had to leave the room as to not let Walnut see me upset.  Thankfully, I know one of Walnut's teachers because I was her children's teacher.  She was super supportive and definitely very helpful today.  Bob was just excited to see Walnut embracing this new chapter in his book.  After my mini-meltdown, I was fine.

I didn't know what to expect at orientation.  I figured that parents would ride the school bus with their children.  wrong.  I figured that we would be sitting on tiny chairs in the Kindergarten room listening to the teacher talk about snacks and school supplies.  wrong.  I envisioned watching our children play.  wrong.

All in all, I was totally wrong.  The children stayed together with one of the teachers while the parents went to the gymnasium to hear an hour's worth of information.  Each Kindergarten classroom has two certified teachers working together.  I was exhausted by the end of the presentations!  Kindergarten is some serious stuff.  Also, the packet of printed information that was given to us took me over 1.5 hours to read. I thought I had it rough as a high school teacher.  No way!  The organization and compassion of Kindergarten teachers should warrant them a "Go To Heaven Free Card."

Nevertheless, at the end of the orientation Walnut had a smile a mile long.  It looks like we're ready for Kindergarten.

By the way, does anyone want to buy a raffle ticket?

193 for 2010-2011

FYI:  We work 193 days a school year.

Renewed energy and enthusiasm REALLY helps, especially when a ten week vacation comes to an end.  I love teaching--truly.  When I have had my 'What the hell am I going to be when I grow up?' self-dialogue, I list the pros and the cons of my career choice.  The pros of the job ALWAYS outweigh the cons.  AND, I teach in a quality district with quality colleagues.

Over the course of the last few years I have complained, b*tched and allowed myself to be somewhat jaded by "the grind" of education.  However, I enter the 2010-2011 school year with no anxiety or disgust or procrastination.  Despite the horrid first day in-service, I am still very EXCITED to be entering my eleventh year as a high school English teacher.

I unpacked supplies, organized books, cleaned, moved furniture, made some plans and relished in seeing my former students today.  I have some goals for this year as well:  1.)  We will start to prepare for the AP exam in October.  2.)  I am going to make an earnest effort to get my proposal for contract grading approved.  3.)  My online class is going to kick some serious @ss.  4.)  I will KNOW my students.  5.)  FUN and RELEVANT learning--every day.

So, with these revelations I will try to uphold the amazing standards of two of my favorite former colleagues.  I want to be a ROCKSTAR!

(Pink Floyd music in the background, please!)  
Hey Teachers!  Have a PHENOMENAL year!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Adventures in K: Mommy Is Ready...Kinda

My boys are bouncing off of the walls...and we're a family on the GO!  An interesting tidbit about me:  I was an only child until I was almost fourteen years old.  My twin sisters were born when I was in eighth grade.  Essentially, I enjoyed an uncompetitive childhood.  And, I have sisters!  That double X chromosome thing changes so much!  So, the amount of energy contained in our home on a daily basis creates a pressure cooker environment.  We're normal (for the most part:).  The kids play together, fight, wrestle, roughhouse, read, watch a little television, work on art projects, etc.  However, if a task is at my immediate hand with a deadline--completion is impossible.

Walnut has been especially antsy over the course of the last week.  We returned from our travels with Bob and have been "redding up" and prepping for our first week back to "the grind" for Mommy.  But, Walnut and Peanut both love the structure of daycare/preschool.  Peanut was born a natural instigator.  But, Walnut takes it to a whole new level.  He has been a little challenging.  The whole scenario reminds me of what it said about animals; that they can tell when a major change is about to occur.    Walnut pushes the limits and then savors in the reaction.  He's a little on the contrary side right now and totally testing my mommy patience.  I know that we're entering another phase of childhood but c'mon!  Nevertheless, it will be more than interesting to see how the beginning of school affects his social and individual levels of independence as well as behavior to adapt to change.

Until then, we'll be keeping ourselves busy with a just a smidge of downtime.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Adventures in K: Countdown Continues

It doesn't hurt to remind him, right?
We're still continuing our Countdown to Kindergarten.  Today, we're focusing on ALWAYS practicing good manners.  Walnut loves the daily countdown and pulling off a link of the chain.  Over the past week we've done some really fun and instructive things:  writing his address, discussing fun electives in school, playing board games and FOLLOWING all the rules, sorting and folding towels and making music and dancing.  Just a quick update from the Kocanuts!

Silly Bandz and the Baptism

A few weeks ago we visited my friend and her new baby.  He is quite the adorable child and Walnut has been a bit enamored with him.  The proverbial, "Mom, can we have another baby?" entered our conversation almost instantly.  My reply, "We'll see."

Pardon my digression. The Summer of 2010 should be established as the "Summer of Silly Bandz."  Walnut has been trading them with friends, waitresses and his aunts.  He has amassed quite a collection.  The whole scenario reminds me of the 80's and jelly bracelets.  Talk about full circle!

While visiting my friend and her new little guy, T, Walnut noticed that she was wearing two Silly Bandz.  She showed him her rubber bracelets and explained that her niece had given her the little boy's initials.  However, T didn't have any of the neon colored wonders.  This brought a serious concern for Walnut.  He asked, "Where are T's Silly Bandz?"  I just laughed and gave him a run of the mill explanation.  The dissertation on Silly Bandz and newborns ended.

This past Sunday, we attended T's Baptismal reception.  Walnut had picked out T's gift at Merhaut and near the rest of the impulse buys on the counter they sat-religious Silly Bandz.  The bag included crosses, doves, clouds, angels, etc.  A complete set for the uber pious.  Merhaut was having a 25% off sale.  Thus, the only reason for the purchase.  At T's party, Walnut decided that T needed to have his first Silly Band for his "bathtism."  And so, Walnut bequeathed T the pink cross.  So cute!

a baptized child equipped with a religious Silly Band

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Adventures in K: Class of 2023

Walnut
Even though we traveled with Bob this past week, I still wanted to take Walnut to the "Kindergarten...Here I Come!" program at the Children's Museum bright and early on Saturday morning.  I definitely wanted to have Walnut and Mommy time before we both headed off to school in just a few short days (sniff).  Our children's museum is pretty amazing.  They run awesome programs and exhibits on a regular basis and both of our boys love to visit and play ALL day.

Andrew made quite a few mini projects while he was there:  a door knob hanger, a picture frame, two pictures dealing with his first day of K, paper making, etc.  He enjoyed all of them and I appreciated the literature and information that was dispersed to parents.  He hugged Curious George and even got a Class of 2023 t-shirt.  When I saw the year on his t-shirt, I smiled and died a little inside-simultaneously.  He seems to be emotionally and mentally ready for his first day of K BUT...you just never know.

Nevertheless, a big thanks to the Children's Museum and the participants from CMU to Pitt to PPS.  It was a great day for Walnut and his Mommy.

The Crayola Factory Does Not Make Crayons


so many crayons...so little time

Peanut was SO over taking photos!
When planning our vacation two years ago, I decided that I wanted to extend our visit past the regular Saturday to Saturday affair.  Bob and I discussed our itinerary and I had some suggestions, of course they were kid fun based, and presented my case for going to Sesame Place and the Crayola Factory.  Bob agreed to our Easton, PA destination but had no idea what he was in for.

The Crayola Factory should be called "Crayola's Fun Factory."  The totally interactive experience isn't one where you sit and watch crayons being made, packaged and shipped to various sites.  Yet, it houses millions of crayons, markers, glue, paper goods, modeling magic, sand, t-shirts, melted crayons for "painting", mirrors, scissors, chalk, glow in the dark utensils, etc.  A child could literally have fun for the entire day without doing something twice.  Bob and I reveled in our children's creativity.  We had a blast, made some memories, completed a few art projects and bought quite a bit of their products.  All in all, we highly recommend the Crayola Factory!  Two tiny thumbs up with the endorsement from parents, too!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Farm City Days

first time with face paints=success
CHICKS!



  

30 Years of Sesame Place

Peanut did NOT like Cookie!

Tiffany and Abby 
Sesame Place never disappoints.  However, we always select the HOTTEST days of summer to visit the gang on Sesame Street. We decided that we were going to take a trip with friends.  We often go on vacations with relatives but our good friends M and C wanted to take their little ones to see Elmo & Co. and we definitely wanted to go!  Their little girl, A, even got to be part of the Elmo's World Live show.

Peanut did not take an immediate liking to the large, furry monsters of Sesame Place.  In fact, during our character breakfast he cried (a little) and clung to Bob most of the event.  However, when we went to see Elmo's show I could see that he warmed up to the fuzzy red icon (a little).  Walnut loved the water rides and proved to be a bit more daring than he had been in the past.  The character breakfast is always one of my favorite things to do at the park.  It brings back fond memories of my obsession with Sesame Street as a child.

Lesson Learned:  Diversity is truly the essence of Jim Henson's vision.  While I was walking through the park many different languages, races and walks of life were represented.  I smiled.  I was glad to see that Jim Henson's vision became a reality, even if he wasn't able to see it.

Bert is Bob's favorite!


Walnut & Ernie

Sunday, August 8, 2010

HMP: Water Steps Torture

This may have been the only moment that Peanut sat the entire three hours that we were there!
FUN
On Tuesday, we had a BFF playdate at the Water Steps at Allegheny Riverfront Park.  Many of my friends had taken their children there on many occasions but it just never worked out for us.  I was very excited to take the kids to the North Shore for some sun, water and play.

Walnut and Peanut both LOVED the Water Steps.  They are very aesthetically pleasing and clean, too.  M, Z and Walnut played hide and seek with some older children.  But, guess what Peanut wanted to do?  CLIMB the STEP the ENTIRE TIME! 

One would think that it wouldn't be such a big deal...really.  However, with no shoes on, uneven steps, waterfalls everywhere and a very active toddler I was EXHAUSTED.  Yet, Peanut persevered for over three hours of walking up and down.  He obsessed with climbing ALL the way UP and ALL the way DOWN.  We did stop for a quick juice and veggie straws break but that was short lived.

We had a blast and now I know that if I need to tire out the boys I just need to take them to the Water Steps!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Adventures in K: Another Great Book

The boys and I traveled to Barnes and Noble the other day after our visit with Baby TW.  I wanted to take a look at a few cookbooks.  But, of course, we ALWAYS go to the Children's Literature section of the store.  There, I saw a book by Natasha Wing.  The Night Before Kindergarten is such a wonderful book for children to read!  It put the onus on overprotective crying parents in the most simplistic of ways.  Walnut and I highly suggest this book.

We give it two thumbs up!

Adventures in K: Shoes

When Melissa and I organized Heather's baby book shower, one of my colleagues requested the book Red Lace, Yellow Lace:  Learn to tie your shoe!

  I knew that we would be venturing into the world of self-sufficiency and I purchased one for Walnut, too.  If you haven't seen this book, you should check it out!  It gives step by step shoe tying instructions written in rhyme for children.  We have enjoyed using the book and are going to continue practicing for a few weeks.  Wish us luck!

Adventures in K: Kindergarten Countdown

In May, we received a calendar from Walnut's new school.  For three months, this calendar listed activities to prepare him for entering school, especially for a full day.  When the calendar came in the mail I check marked all of the items that he had already mastered.  Walnut's preschool really prepared him to enter Kindergarten.  Thanks, Joyce, Melissa, Kelly and Heather!  He can write all of his letters and single digit numbers, some sight words and he can add small numbers together.  So, I starred the things that we needed to work on over the course of June, July and August.  There were about twenty-seven different items that were fun things as well as important educational components that would be beneficial to do right before he started school in late August.

We created a primary colored construction paper chain with twenty-seven links.  Each link has one of the starred items from the calendar on it.  And, we have started a countdown on the chalkboard in the kids' playroom.  Walnut loves to change the number each day and rip off one of the chain links.  This has been a great family activity and a wonderful way for us to share Walnut's journey to K. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Adventures in K: Suiting Up for School

Today was a BIG day for Walnut and his parents.  It was UNIFORM DAY.  I had intentions of going in July but the month came and went.  And, the moment of mommy strength was at hand.  Nevertheless, we traveled to Educational Outfitters after hair cuts with our favorite stylist, Miss Lisa from Little Snips.

Prior to our visit, I was sure that I would bawl when he dressed in his little uniform.  However, I pulled it together for our visit.  Meredith, the sales associate, helped us and doted on both of the boys.  They have a little playroom equipped with a television and cool toys and chairs.  Peanut had a blast.   Walnut was patient.  Bob reminisced about wearing his Catholic school uniform.  I focused on the task and tried to divert my attention to the simplicity of the event.

During one of Walnut's many clothes changes, I started to tear up.  I did not cry but I was overwhelmed by the thought of my baby going to Kindergarten.

I said, "Are you excited about going to Kindergarten?"

Walnut replied, "I'm a little nervous, Mommy."

I felt the floodgates almost open...but I stopped them in their tracks.  'I've gotta be strong.  He can't see me cry.'

I consoled, "It will be so much fun and you will meet new people and learn new things..."  Bob walked into the dressing room and the tender moment was interrupted---a small sigh of relief.

We are so very proud of Walnut.  We can't wait to hang on to each of these Kindergarten days for later strolls down memory lane.

Mommy Rhapsody (Mother's Day Opening 2010)

My friend posted this on facebook.  I love Bohemian Rhapsody and all things Freddie Mercury.  This is pretty funny!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Adventures in K: The Transportation Letter

Andrew enthusiastically retrieved the mail today.  In daily fashion, I sorted important mail and tossed the superfluous ads.  I saw the phrase "To the Parents of" and was fixated on the envelope.  It was the bus information for Walnut.  As I read the letter I realized that the fact that Walnut was entering Kindergarten did not affect me until that very moment.  You see, the arrival of fun Get Ready for Kindergarten packets still placed his first day of school "down the road."  And, Walnut already met his teacher when he had his Kindergarten testing back in March.  However, the transportation information made my heart stop a little.  And then, nostalgia and the proverbial trip down memory lane really kicked in.  'How have five years gone so quickly?'  I just couldn't believe it.

With this new information, I have gained a bit of anxiety, sadness and excitement.  Walnut seems to be very excited about the social aspect but a little concerned about the academic side of the coin.  He asked me, "What if I can't answer the math test on the first day?"  I just laughed, reassured and we moved on.

So, for all of you parents of preschoolers and toddlers out there,
The yellow bus is the heartbreaker.

Taking Back the Neighborhood

When we moved into our house in 2003, I loved living in our neighborhood.  People were friendly.  The children of our then-small development played together.  The entire neighborhood would come out almost every evening to mingle and talk, joke and laugh.  Unfortunately, some things happened and we barely see any of our neighbors (at least the ones we would like to see) anymore.  So, Bob and I decided that it is time to take back the neighborhood.  We have started to visit people "up the street" and "on the hill", too.  It has been so great to meet new families and watch their children play with ours.  I have rekindled some relationships, made some apologies and caught up with friends.  Bob has forged some new friendships.  Walnut and Peanut now know some of the kids in their own neighborhood.  And, we recently met a family that has literally lived six doors away from us for  two years and we have never seen them!  It really does feel great to get out of the Desperate Housewives mode and get real.  I am definitely looking forward to watching our neighborhood come back to life.

Roastin' Beets and Hidin' Veggies

IT IS TIME.  Peanut doesn't really eat fruits or vegetables.  Unfortunately, Walnut has assumed the preschooler's menu, too.  I have tried since the ill fated day when I introduced green beans to Peanut at four months.  He hated them then and he hates them now.  For Christmas, my mother-in-law gifted me a new cookbook.  So, I now resort to Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious recipes.  I have been pureeing veggies for a few weeks in preparation for "the big introduction" to veggie hidden delights.  However, my friend Kelly has suggested the Sneaky Chef's books.  So, I will definitely be trying those very soon!

On Sunday, I decided to cook French Toast the Jessica Seinfeld way.  All of the "boys" ate it and LOVED it.  I told Bob what he was eating AFTER he ate it.  I didn't tell either of our children as I  will live under a cloak of deceit if that means more veggies in their diets!

Here is the recipe:
French Toast
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of one of the following:  banana, pineapple, sweet potato, carrot, butternut squash or canned pumpkin (I used pumpkin.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons butter/margarine
  • maple syrup, confectioner's sugar, fruit-for serving
  • flaxseed meal (optional)
  1. In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs, puree (I put in extra pumpkin.) and cinnamon.  Add the bread slices and turn them in the mixture to soak for 30 seconds.
  2. Coat a nonstick griddle or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat.  When the pan is hot, add the margarine.  When the margarine sizzles, add the soaked bread slices (sprinkle with flaxseed if you like) and cook until golden brown on the outside, 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Serve with warm syrup, confectioner's sugar or fruit.
YUM!

My next attempt will be Green Eggs.  Of course I am going to use Dr. Seuss.  So, we'll be having Green Eggs and Ham.  Wish me luck!

Play doh Never Disappoints

Sometimes it is necessary to dust off the craft supplies.  The boys love markers and paints and crayons.  We have every coloring book under the sun and I often print coloring pages from the Internet, too.  However, there are times to resurrect the tried and true kid friendly favorites.  Disclaimer:  I NEVER ate Play-doh.

As we rapidly approach our trip to the Crayola Factory, it is imperative to evaluate what we'll need to get while we are there.  So, Walnut requested a Play-doh session so that we could have some fun  and, of course, we did!  I am truly not the most creative or artistic person.  Yet, I can make a mean flower!


Yet, I didn't take a photo of the flower...sigh.  We're looking forward to our trip and definitely picking up some supplies for our bursts of creativity.

Riding Bikes and Scooters

I had a circa 1984 maroon ten speed Schwinn.  I actually remember going to the Schwinn Shop to pick it out.  I LOVED that bike.  My friends and I would ride our bikes to town and learned new and exciting ways to get places before we were able to drive.  I missed biking and was really excited when Andrew had an enthusiasm for bike riding this spring/summer.  

Walnut spends quite a bit of time riding his bike.  He has impressed his parents with his progressing skills and we were really enjoying "watching" him ride.  "We need to get bikes." 

Bob and I recently bought Cruisers.  No, we didn't buy mountain bikes and some may think that the Cruiser is antiquated.  However, we are loving them.  On Sunday, Walnut, training wheels and all, rode six miles on the trail.  Talk about impressive!  Peanut loves his seat and is very content on being a passenger. 

I can't wait to get my bell and basket!  And, Walnut's training wheels will be coming of very soon.  Stay tuned!

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